non·​re·​new·​able | \ ˌnän-ri-ˈnü-ə-bəl How to pronounce nonrenewable (audio) , -ˈnyü- \

Definition of nonrenewable

: not able to be renewed : not renewable a nonrenewable service contract especially : unable to be replaced or replenished once used … most of the natural resources that we exploit for energy and minerals are nonrenewable. Once they have been used up, they cannot be replenished—at least in our lifetime. — Sheldon Judson and Marvin E. Kauffman A nonrenewable resource is a resource that cannot be replaced after it is used. Minerals and many fuels are nonrenewable resources. — Dr. Timothy Cooney et al. Physical and economic shortages of nonrenewable resources require research programs aimed at developing renewable replacement resources. Predicasts Technology Update Lubbock is the principal city of the semi-arid southern High Plains of Texas, where the extensive, nonrenewable Ogallala aquifer is the major water resource. AAG Abstracts

Examples of nonrenewable in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Trump: Support all energy sources, including nonrenewable (fossil fuels) and renewable sources. Washington Post, "Presidential candidates: What are their plans for issues important to kids?," 20 Oct. 2020 Climate change has worsened the state's wildfires in recent years, and last year the state implemented a nonrenewable ban on insurance companies cancelling policies in the face of around 800,000 potential cancelations. Paul Douglas, Star Tribune, "From Frost to 80 Degrees in 4 Days - Unprecedented Wildfires Rage Across Western USA," 10 Sep. 2020 According to the federal government's 2018 National Climate Assessment, parts of the Ogallala Aquifer should be considered a nonrenewable resource. Jeff Berardelli, CBS News, "A devastating Dust Bowl heat wave is now more than twice as likely, study says," 21 May 2020 Since 2015, the development of renewables has outpaced that of nonrenewable energy worldwide, accounting for 72 percent of all new power generation in 2019, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. NBC News, "Cheap oil? A pandemic? No big deal for renewable energy, experts say," 6 Apr. 2020 Sadly, one hoped-for benefit of an 18-year nonrenewable Supreme Court term might not materialize in practice. John Fund, National Review, "It’s Time for Term Limits on the Supreme Court," 24 Nov. 2019 The 5-year grants are nonrenewable and are seen as startup funds to help institutions launch their efforts. Jeffrey Mervis, Science | AAAS, "HHMI announces Meyerhoff replication effort to boost minorities in science," 1 Nov. 2019 The problem, of course, is that taxing pollution from nonrenewable energy is an incredibly divisive political issue. Daniel Oberhaus, WIRED, "A Tax Credit Fueled the Solar Energy Boom. Now It's in Limbo," 14 Aug. 2019 The Obama administration limited them to three-month nonrenewable terms, and some states, including California, have outlawed them entirely. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: The 10 worst things Trump has done to harm your healthcare," 20 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nonrenewable.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of nonrenewable

1903, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of nonrenewable was in 1903

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Last Updated

24 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Nonrenewable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 2020.

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How to pronounce nonrenewable (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of nonrenewable

: not able to grow again or be made again : not able to be replaced by nature
: not continued or repeated after a period of time has ended


non·​re·​new·​able | \ ˌnän-ri-ˈnü-ə-bəl, -ˈnyü- \

Kids Definition of nonrenewable

: not restored or replaced by natural processes in a short period of time Petroleum is a nonrenewable resource.

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